November/December 2013 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Is Your Manuscript Publication-Ready?
Is Your Manuscript Publication-Ready?
Get professional feedback from 2nd Draft Critique Services.
After an evaluation of your submission, one of the professional 2nd Draft critiquers will provide feedback and advice. You'll not only learn what's working in your writing, but what's not, and—most important—how to fix it.
2nd Draft provides a high-level review of your writing, pointing out reasons your work may be getting rejected, or may not meet the standards of traditional publication.
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How to Improve Writing Skills
You have the drive, you have the passion, and you’re more than willing to put in the time it takes to finish a manuscript. But you also want to make sure your work is clean, compelling, and perfectly structured. Help for doing just that can be found right here.
“Your novel is lacking tension.” “I understand the reason for this scene, but my mind kept wandering while I was reading.” “This chapter is missing a hook … I’m just not interested.” … Read more
Everyone struggles with how to write an ending, regardless of whether it’s a novel or a short story. Sometimes our perfect endings come to us in a dream-like vision, and other times … Read more
Using emotion to create strong, emotional characters and move a plot is critical for any writer in any type of genre. Knowing what kind of emotion to use and how to use it … Read more
Writing dialogue to suit the gender of your characters is important in any genre, but it becomes even more essential in romance writing. In a romance novel, characters of opposite sexes are … Read more
There’s no question about it: The young adult (YA) audience is a hot market, one that is steadily growing in popularity and garnering attention from young readers as well as literary critics. … Read more
In your novel, the inciting incident is the first sign of trouble for your protagonist: it’s the catalyst, the chemical reaction, that sets the plot into motion. But the inciting incident isn’t … Read more
The auditorium was dark except for a pool of light at the center of the stage. One of my all-time heroes, Joyce Carol Oates, was giving a guest lecture at my school, … Read more
Donald Maass, bestselling author of Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction, now takes an in-depth, comprehensive look at the craft and method of writing 21st century fiction. You might … Read more
Supporting characters better our understanding of the main character and the circumstances she finds herself in, whether long-term (I need to solve this homicide case) or short-term (I need a ham sandwich). … Read more
Many beginning novelists think of the climax of their story as one single, explosive event. While that’s true to a degree, the climax of a novel actually has four components: The run-up … Read more
Today’s tip of the day comes from Grammatically Correct and describes some techniques for improving your writing style and for assessing how well your efforts are succeeding. Not all these strategies will … Read more
I was reading through some of our older science fiction titles, and I came upon Worlds of Wonder by David Gerrold (published in 2001). As I was flipping through the book, I … Read more
Want to write a thriller, but stuck on the beginning? Novelist Daniel Palmer uses his own experience and that of his father (bestseller Michael Palmer) and lays out the essentials to get … Read more
In her session at ThrillerFest, Catherine Coulter—who has had a stunning 62 New York Times bestsellers—shared her wisdoms on how to “Kill ‘Em Clean: Writing Sharp, Fast and Deadly.” These are the … Read more
We’ve heard the old montage “Show, don’t tell” so many times that it’s become stale–and what does it mean, anyway? It’s an easy phrase to utter, but how do you achieve resonant, … Read more
I trust that you all know the difference between who and whom, and I trust that typos are the only reason you use the wrong it’s. It happens to the best of … Read more
Anyone whose ever seen a screening of a Pixar movie (Finding Nemo, Up, and the Toy Story trio come to mind for me) knows that the writers of these charming, funny and … Read more
Whenever I think of the word gatekeeper, a little film clip from The Wizard of Oz starts up in my head, where the fearsome palace guard denies Dorothy and friends access to … Read more
In fiction, story matters more than anything else. Yet too often authors forget this and, in their zeal to impress readers or wow editors, pepper their writing with distracting devices that only … Read more
There are a lot of ways not to do something. Like the new boat owner a few years ago who was filling up his pleasure craft with fuel for that first time … Read more
Joseph Bates, author of The Nighttime Novelist, shares tips for editing and proofreading a novel or book. Creating A System For Editing & Proofreading Revision is really about seeing your book as … Read more
Not all characters are created equal. You must know—and let your readers know—which characters are most important to the story (i.e. the major characters), so they’ll know which are worth following and … Read more
While fad advice in the writing world comes and goes, some wisdom is so novel that it’s withstood the test of time. Culled from 91 years of WD articles, interviews and essays, … Read more